Controlling blinding trachoma: intervention and pathophysiology studies for scarring disease in Ethiopia and Tanzania

Year of award: 2012


  • Prof Matthew Burton

    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Project summary

Trachoma is the most common infectious cause of blindness worldwide. Chlamydia trachomatis triggers a scarring process in the conjunctiva, leading to the in-turning of eyelashes (trichiasis), which traumatises the cornea. Surgery can be performed to correct this and prevent blindness but results are mixed. Dr Burton's research focuses on improving the surgical treatment of trichiasis and understanding how this infection leads to tissue scarring. In Ethiopia, Dr Burton's team will conduct clinical trials comparing alternative treatment strategies. In Tanzania, a long-term cohort of children is being followed to investigate conjunctival immunofibrogenic responses that lead to scarring.